A musical play about deception, international relations and chickens is one of the latest offerings from the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Cox and Box – Mrs Bouncer’s Legacy.
Sir Arthur Sullivan’s original one act comic opera, Cox and Box, has been reinvented with a new sequel written by Stephen Joseph artistic director Chris Monks and composer Richard Atkinson.
It plays in the theatre’s McCarthy auditorium until Saturday August 30.
Act 1 – Cox and Box
1866. Cox is an apprentice hatter who works by day, and Box, a printer who works by night. Under the swift broom of landlady Mrs Bouncer, the two unknowingly share the same room...and that’s not all they have in common. Tempers flare and it’s not long before the guns come out.
Act 2 - Boks and Cocks
2016. The recently elected UZIP party has repatriated all migrant workers. Polish twin sisters Urszula and Krystyna are secretly sharing a room in a rundown B&B and it’s only a matter of time before their unscrupulous landlord Bob Narks finds out. But further outrageous revelations (and livestock) are set to come out of the woodwork.
Chris Monks said: “I’ve always admired Cox and Box, it’s the wellspring of Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical style and has some terrific tunes. Burnand’s book and lyrics, based on Maddison Morton’s original farce, are crafted to perfection. The problem is it’s only an hour long, so I hit on the idea of a sequel, visiting Bouncer’s boarding house to see who would be living there 150 years later.”
Composer and musical director Richard Atkinson said: “We’ll be bringing all the comic elements, sparkling melodies and farcical qualities associated with the original into our companion piece yet in keeping with modern musical theatre.”
Actor Paul Ryan, seen as Harry in Mamma Mia in the West End and previously at the Stoephen Joseph in The Importance Of Being Earnest and Cinderella in 2012, returns as Mrs Bouncer and Bob Narks. He performs alongside Lara Stubbs and Charlotte Harwood.